“NAMA’s appointed management company have sent someone out to cut the grass but we’ve had nothing else happen in terms of getting street lights. “We even had to fight to get someone out to collect our bins, and that’s despite the fact we pay quite high rates,” confirmed Mrs Kiernan. While issues such as bin collection and landscaping may sound frivolous, more concerning are aspects of safety. With gaping holes in the street, not to mention unfinished pavements and no street lights, accidents are a major concern” Life on a NAMA estate in county Armagh, reported by the Ulster Gazette
For political and economic reasons, much attention is focussed on the Northern Ireland dimension of NAMA’s operations. According to the press release that marked last Friday’s meeting of the North South Ministerial Council, there was discussion of NAMA but alas the press release doesn’t provide any further details. It would seem that the re-appointment of Frank Cushnahan and Brian Rowntree – profiles and photographs here – to NAMA’s Northern Ireland Advisory Committee did come up, as today NAMA has announced the duo have been re-appointed for a further two years until April 2014, the tenure of their first term having apparently expired. The re-appointments followed consultation between NAMA and Minister for Finance, Michael Noonan and the Northern Ireland finance minister, the sometimes-bohemian Sammy Wilson.
There is still no news on the search for a non-executive director to replace Peter Stewart who resigned from the NAMA board last October 2011, and the vacancy for which the Department of Finance advertised with a closing date for applications of 6th March, 2012. The Department is responsible for filling director roles at the Agency.
It would appear from the recent Comptroller and Auditor General report on NAMA’s asset management phase that our neighbours across the Border have been getting their way, with NAMA disposing of a proportionately small number of Northern Irish properties, thereby avoiding fire sales presumably. On the other hand, it would appear that Northern Ireland is getting a proportionately small amount of NAMA investment funds.
We had a reminder last week in the Ulster Gazette that ghost estates are not just a Republic phenomenon, when the Gazette reported on a NAMA estate, Limestone Square on Rock Road in county Armagh, a Sam Thompson development, The report painted a picture of woeful neglect which corresponds to the picture of such estates on this side of the Border, though we know that NAMA has set aside specific funds here to complete the construction including estate lighting and footpaths. Seems like those re-appointed Northern Ireland representatives may need to give NAMA a nudge…